Points of View by Nia Lynn's Bannau Trio
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2. Soldier’s Things
4. Upon the Hill
5. Two Points of View
7. Who Can I Turn To
8. Lonely Ghosts
9. Some Other Time
10. Precious (Reprise)
Official worldwide release date - November 4, 2013
"A fresh and original sound; beautiful music from three of the best musicians on the British scene."
- Norma Winstone
Points of View is the debut Whirlwind release from vocalist and composer Nia Lynn and her Bannau Trio, which features world-renowned flautist Gareth Lockrane and pianist Ross Stanley. Lynn is known as one of the UK’s standout vocalists and emotive songwriters with the ability to sing deeply personal self-penned compositions to counterpointing lines alongside some of the most advanced instrumentalists on the scene.
A true ‘musician’s vocalist,’ Lynn and her Bannau Trio have been quietly ploughing their own path in the contemporary chamber jazz world since 2005, while drawing heavy influence from the singer songwriter tradition which ties in with Nia’s love of lyric craft and poetry (she is also a published poet). This new album features one of the most respected names in contemporary music, the incomparable Norma Winstone (who's also a profound influence for Nia) and a program of music that satisfies the senses.
Nine compositions make up Points of View, with three originals from Lynn and six covers that have been stripped down to their raw essentials: 'Renewal' (Ralph Towner), 'Soldier's Things' (Tom Waits), 'Upon the Hill' (music from Nikki Iles / lyrics by Lynn), 'Two Points of View' (music from Gwilym Simcock / lyrics by Lynn) 'Harriet' by John Lee, 'Who Can I Turn To' by Anthony Newly and Leslie Bricusse, and 'Some Other Time' by Bernstein, Comden and Green. The music is performed by the Bannau Trio who effortlessly balance virtuosity and space, rendering new and invigorating versions of covers next to emotive originals. The album was also recorded live at The Forge in Camden, providing an insight into the group's interactive live performance.
Nia provides insight into her group, their concept and music:
"Bannau’ is the welsh word for beacon, the dictionary definition of which is ‘a signal to help fix a position, a fire or light to help to guide in rough weather or on the rough sea’. The idea for the Bannau Trio was born when the three of us were literally at sea on the Pacific, adrift in many ways, but brought together in a search for that fixed point where the musical conversation meets.
Like the views on the Brecon Beacons where I was born, the music tries to reflect an open, barren, placeless-ness where the mind can wander and the imagination can stretch, yet where reassurance can be found in a light that can guide you safely home. Norma Winstone’s ‘Somewhere Called Home’ (ECM – Norma Winstone, Tony Coe, John Taylor) was the seminal album and inspiration for me to start this trio, and it is the greatest gift to have Norma join us on this album.
The freedom to roam with melody, time, and texture, to draw on the influence of folk, jazz, and original works, and to break the expectations of musical and lyrical roles, is a premise for the trio’s interaction and repertoire choices. Through the years the Bannau Trio have been exactly this kind of beacon to me – guiding, and shedding light on a creative journey. We hope that our listeners will join us on our journey, following their own expansive imaginations and allowing fantasy to wander freely."
A Vocal Album of the Year - Marlbank
A Vocal Album of the Year - The Arts Desk
An Album of the Year - Jazz Views
"Lynn has an attractively intimate voice and phrases both gently and boldly. The program ranges from Ralph Towner and Anthony Newley to Tom Waits and Leonard Bernstein and there are characterful originals from Lynn, involving both lyrics and vocalese. Poised, yet shape-shifting chamber jazz of a high order."
★★★★ Jazz Journal
"Intimate chamber jazz of an extremely high order. This superbly recorded and enchantingly intimate collection of songs is further testimony to the all-inclusive aesthetic of Whirlwind Recordings."
★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine
"An elegant display of craft within a demandingly exposed format. Lynn's vocals sound unmistakeably Winstone-like as they blend gracefully with pulsing flute figures and piano sweeps on Ralph Towner's Renewal. All the participants glow as one for the dreamy folk melody of Nikki Iles' Upon The Hill (on which Winstone herself guests), while Stanley and Lockrane are fleet and eloquent."
"After nearly ten years together the musical chemistry between the members of the Bannau Trio is readily apparent throughout this recording and the three musicians conjure an impressive array of colours and textures from the seemingly limited line up of just two instruments and voice. Their music is quietly adventurous and supremely skilled. “Points of View” represents an impressive artistic statement in its own right and is a wonderful souvenir for anybody who was lucky enough to be at The Forge when it was recorded."
The Jazz Mann
"An album of unexpected pleasure."
"Lynn has an impressive vocal range - from angelic upper register to velvety contralto - and uses it to great contrasting effect, wafting in with high, wordless phrases on the light, airy opening song Renewal, and then performing a gutsy low-down version of Tom Waits’ song Soldier’s Things. I was struck not just by Lynn’s flawless ease across this range, but also the variations in tonal quality she can effect with her voice, and especially her ability to match the flute and piano so closely that, when she chooses to, they sound like one chordal instrument."
"Melody, lyric, delivery, flute's ghostlike presence as he 'flies over Africa,' piano's probing presence. Magic! Another winner from Whirlwind. Nia Lynn has a deadpan cool delivery that adapts well to the material, a mix of wordless passages and intelligent phrasing of lyric and melody."
Bebop Spoken Here
"Her singing exhibits an integrity of breath and tone so seldom heard in the jazz sphere, where many vocalists machinate effects and tricks to lend body to their performance. Nia has no need for such contrivance and her straightforward delivery is perfect for this gentle though rich collage drawn from folk and jazz resources, delivered with truly musical lyricism, especially those passages without words."
Jazz Views CD Reviews
"The tracks flow beautifully, Nia mixing written words and scat singing, with Lockrane's wonderful flute work weaving gorgeous musical colous into the fabric, all underpinned by the driving but sensitive piano playing of Stanley. Altogether, an album full of delights."
"Pristine vocals with a strong technical command, singer Nia Lynn, here in a chamber jazz acoustic setting with flautist Gareth Lockrane and pianist Ross Stanley, plus a guesting Norma Winstone on the fourth track ‘Upon the Hill’, the Bannau trio named after the Welsh word for ‘beacon’ recorded this their third album at the Forge in London’s Camden Town."
"It’s more the remarkable expertise of the musicianship and the subtle interactions in their playing that really bring it all to life."